Aston Villa last night reacted angrily to suggestions that their Peru international midfielder Nolberto Solano could be on his way out of the club.
Reports emerged yesterday afternoon that the former Newcastle United player has begun talks with an unidentified Spanish outfit with a view to moving to La Liga when his current Villa deal expires next summer.
According to Solano's agent, Horacio Jauregui, there has been considerable interest in the winger, including an inquiry from his former employers on Tyneside, while sources in Spain indicate Atletico Madrid are the interested party.
Jauregui admitted: "I have just come from Madrid and a big club is interested in Nolberto.
"I cannot say the name of the club because we are in formal talks. This will be his last season at Aston Villa and there are several interested clubs."
The comments are likely to incense Villa and their manager David O'Leary given the fact Solano is central to his plans for the coming season.
O'Leary will also be concerned by the development because no one at Villa has given the 30-year-old, or his agent, permission to talk to another team.
Although Solano is the last 12 months of his contract, his representative is not entitled to speak to other clubs until January 1, meaning such unsanctioned negotiations could land Atletico in hot water.
Meanwhile, Villa goalkeeper Stefan Postma is poised to join Fulham on loan as he continues his quest for first team football.
The 29-year-old Dutchman is set to complete a half-season deal with the Londoners after making just five appearances during O'Leary's two years at the club .
Stuart Taylor's summer capture from Arsenal has pushed Postma into third in the pecking order behind incumbent Thomas Sorensen.
Postma joined Villa in 2002 from De Graafschap and will give Fulham boss Chris Coleman cover in goal after the loss of Edwin van der Sar.
And back-up keeper Wayne Henderson could also leave Villa Park after setting up a one-month loan arrangement with Brighton and Hove Albion.
The Republic of Ireland international nearly joined Queens Park Rangers earlier this summer but a fee could not be agreed. If the move to Brighton goes through in time today, Henderson could make his debut in the Championship match with Derby County tomorrow.